“The End of Courtship?” Part 2: Honesty

This may actually become a series on my blog. Can we take a moment to think about how sad that is? I’m really hoping I can eventually change the title to, “‘The End of Courtship?’ Pssssh, nah!” Anyways, in my first post about the end of courtship, I droned on about how much it sucks these days. But after Valentine’s Day, I learned that I, at least, and some of my friends, have had it pretty good, and I just had to address that. I’m not retracting what I said in my previous post about modern courtship, but I will say it’s not actually as dreadful as it often seems. Let’s just say that when a guy drunkenly asks you out on a date, then sticks you with a $45 cab ride fare because his card got rejected, you realize that not only are you having a pretty unromantic Valentine’s Day, but that you also appreciate small gestures like, I don’t know, not sticking a girl with a $45 cab ride.

Yes, the current lack of courtship these days is an issue, because so many girls expect it.

Mr. Darcy

BUT, many girls just want to have fun with someone they genuinely like being around. They don’t need flowers, or a fancy dinner, or even anything at all. If a guy buys me a drink because he genuinely wants my time, that’s great. I truly appreciate it. But if he buys me a drink because he has malicious intentions that he knows don’t correspond with mine, that’s not okay.

I think most problems arise when we don’t want the same thing as someone else — a common problem in our twenties. At this time in our lives, some of us want to focus on finding out who we are, or building a career, while others are ready to focus on a serious relationship. Because everything in our lives are up in the air, so are our wants and needs. What tends to happen later in life is that most people know who they are and have established their careers, so more people are ready for relationships, especially with that whole ticking clock thing that freaks me out too much to actually acknowledge right now.

So yes, our twenties are a tough time to find someone who wants what we want, and who is secure enough to express it. Sometimes a girl wants to date a guy, but he doesn’t want a girlfriend. Sometimes a guy wants to date a girl but he’s coming on too strong and she’s not that into it. Sometimes a girl wants to simply hook up with a guy again one night, and he doesn’t want to, for reasons he will never tell her, because he’s afraid of hurting her feelings.

For this reason, I think that everyone needs to stop playing around and just be themselves. If they are open to dating, they should let it be known so that the other person can see that as a possibility as well. If they simply want a hookup, they should be upfront about it so that the other person won’t invest themselves in the relationship emotionally and get hurt. What tends to happen is that the guy wants to hook up with a girl, but is afraid she will want to date him, so he comes off as though he wants to date her in order to get what he wants. On the opposite end, girls will often fear coming off as clingy (crediting my friend Candace for that observation), and act as though they don’t want anything serious because they thinks that’s what guys want to see. Obviously, this is how things get messy.

Bottom line, while classically romantic gestures are sweet, and I know very few women who wouldn’t want them, their rarity isn’t what causes problems in the dating/ hookup world—it’s the lack of honesty.  We should either communicate what we want, or choose to forgo wanting anything and instead live in the moment.

HIMYM

A free drink in a noisy bar, a quick text, and a swipe of a debit card may seem like minimal efforts when compared with the dates our parents went on back in the day, but as the times change, how we interact with each other inevitably changes with them. Furthermore, it’s not the gestures that matter, but rather the thoughts behind them.

So, to any man who has bought me a drink because he wanted to talk to me, kissed me just because he wanted to kiss me in that moment, danced with me because I looked like I would be fun to dance with, or paid for my ride home out of courtesy, and not to get me to leave the cab with him, I thank you. Because in those moments, we both wanted the same thing: each other’s company.

IN THE COMMENTS:

How important do you think honesty is in any type of relationship?

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